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"A scientist-mother" …really? While Sari might be a terrific writer, her pseudo-scientist cover was blown when she referenced her belief in Astrology twice in her article. Also, did anyone else find the claim of scientist suspect when the only information that was given to back up the claim was a quick line about her working at a toxicology consulting firm? For a magazine that has the word “brain” in the title, and an article that covers a science themed topic with enormous public health implications maybe next time they can find an actual scientist. We need good writers in this world, but more importantly we need good science.
Thank you for this superb overview of the vaccine debate. I went through a very similar process with my own daughter, and came to a similar conclusion.I was disappointed, however, that you failed to mention (even in passing) alternative explanations for the rise in asthma and allergies, such as the hygiene hypothesis.I also would like to discuss your statement: "Thankfully, most of us live in an insular world in which the death of a child from an infectious disease is a horrific, unnatural phenomenon rather than an everyday occurrence."Parents in rich anglophone countries might feel that their world is insular, but it is nothing of the sort.My husband and I travel between the United States and Central Asia two times a year. We know people who travel between sub-Saharan Africa and England, or South America and Canada, even more often than that.Considering that almost no countries have pertussis, measles, or rubella vaccination requirements for entry, and that many poor countries have hoardes of extremely poor and possibly unvaccinated people living in close proximity to tourist centers, and that many adults are not immune to these diseases (having been vaccinated in childhood), I believe that the term "insular" has misleading connotations.I realize that Ms. Weston did not mean to imply, of course, that we are insulated or protected, but I just wanted to highlight that even in our insular cultures, we are but a plane ride away from a rubella epidemic. Thinking parents must take this into consideration when planning their vaccine schedule.
As a researcher in public health, this whole topic makes me cringe, but I found her conclusion reasonable enough. However, I would just point out that the whole focus on vaccines as a "risk" is misplaced: the biggest risk to your child's health and well-being is sitting in your driveway. About 500 kids age 1-4 are killed by cars every year and another 38,000 are injured, some of them permanently. While I've met many people who refuse to vaccinate their kids on the grounds that they don't want to expose them to a potential risk, however small, I've never met anyone who refuses on principle to put their child in a car.
The article couldn't come at a better time as there are so much heated feelings with alot of moms I know, and I feel like it's a topic I prefer not to bring up in the public.I'm glad to see the different views there are and a list of reading recommended so I can do some better research myself. I have many family in Asia and travel often to 3rd world countries that has me concerned at times. We felt it was necessary to vaccinate our son as our world becomes 'smaller'. But, wanting a comprise way of doing it so to think of his health first.I also want to address to 'anonymous' that not to be so quick to judge of her background:1. there is nothing wrong with citing astrology as a scientist. There are many scientist from other cultures(Indian and Asian, etc) that excel as scientist and still have astrological beliefs. 2. What is wrong with being a scientist and working in a toxicology consulting firm? I know many scientist(some from my family)that are scientist that were practicing their career with grants doing research(cure for cancer, etc) until they had to turn to private sector for work, as our government has withheld financial aid and grants to many science research that does not back, or connect themselves to a pharmaceutical company.
Sari here… thanks to all of you for reading and responding to this article. Before I weigh in on specific comments, let me first say that there is only so much room in a magazine article and, with an issue as complex as this, there is simply not enough space to address every consideration of every point. Believe me, I tried. But the article I would have liked to have written would have been, well, a book. And, in fact, there have been many books written and entire careers devoted to the study of vaccine safety. But this is an article in a magazine, and while the intellect of Brain, Child’s readership is formidable, there is only so much science that a non-science magazine can cover without losing appeal to a chunk of their readers. So I’m really glad there is a discussion area here for people to bring up and hash out points that could not be covered in all their complexity in the article. Feel free to chime in with your experiences.Anonymous - the astrology thing was really an attempt to lighten and personalize what can be a dry and data-intensive topic. I didn’t imagine that anyone would take my references to being a Libra to mean that I actually consulted an astrologer or burned the entrails of a goat to help me decide whether or not to vaccinate! My astrology “belief” comprises a mild bemusement over my newspaper horoscope. As for my science background, I’d love to have included my transcripts and c.v. in the article, but we were on rather a tight word count. I’ve overseen a nationwide research program, presented findings at EPA meetings, reviewed and interpreted data, and spent more summers under laboratory fluorescent lighting than I care to remember. That sort of thing. Mahtob – First, I agree that a brief mention of the hygiene hypothesis could have had a place in the article. The problem is that the definition of the hygiene hypothesis has evolved to the point where introducing and putting the idea into layman’s terms would have taken more space than was feasible, considering this is one alternate explanation of a phenomenon. Second, your point regarding the use of the word “insular” is well taken. It’s helpful for most of us who don’t travel as extensively to realize that certain illnesses are only “a plane ride away.” However, our sense of insularity is bolstered in part by the fact that our medical care, should one of these illness arrive via JFK airport, is generally excellent, and herd immunity should lessen the chance of an errant case of rubella becoming an epidemic. Hence our perception, however complacent, of insularity.MPH Mom – Thank you for the statistics; that does help put it into perspective. In my article, I tried to focus more on the “perception” of risk that we have associated with vaccines, rather than stating an actual risk level. Dr. Sears gives a great analysis of the actual risk of a child having an adverse vaccine reaction versus the risk of catching a vaccine preventable disease, in his book “The Vaccine Book.” The difference between getting in the car and getting vaccinated, in my opinion, is that we perceive driving as a necessary, unavoidable fact of life, whereas many of us are beginning to perceive vaccination as an optional activity, compared to past years when we were either grateful to receive them or at least didn’t ask so many pesky questions. Also, I think we feel like we can control at least some of the safety aspects of driving a car (where you put the carseat, whether you choose a car with ABS, when you choose to drive, etc.), whereas vaccination is an all-or-nothing proposition: the shot goes in, and you have no control over what happens next. Again, though, this is perception, not actual risk.
I thought this was a balanced and thoughtful look at this topic. It really IS hard to know what to do. It's intimidating to have to do so much research (and I'm definitely not a scientist, so maybe it was even more intimidating for me? maybe not?) and I just wanted someone to give me the magic omniscient answer, but one that accounts for the subtleties to which the pediatric establishment seems to turn a blind eye. (C'mon, mandatory varicella vaccines? Really? C'mon people...) I'll check out the Sears book on vaccines. Sears is a little over the top for me in some ways, but I'm open to hearing what he has to say. I decided to vax but I held off on things that I decided weren't needed yet (like Hep B, and Chicken Pox). I did go ahead eventually with Hep B. But it's the pox I'm most conflicted about. I've deferred my decision on the pox. I'll need to make a choice soon, though. Thanks for the thoughtful essay. I know it'll help moms to be and new moms who are in the place I was in when I was pregnant with my first - it's so nice to know you're not alone, and that just questioning this stuff doesn't make you a lunatic fringe person! : )p.s. lighten up, anonymous - even if astrology is a crock, just because someone jokes about being a [fill in astrological sign here] doesn't mean they're consulting the stars to make decisions!
First I want to complement the author on tackling a difficult and emotional subject and attempting to present a reasonably balanced article. It is difficult to do such a thing when the topic is both extremely complex scientifically and also emotional for many people.One tragedy of the whole Vaccine debate in my mind is that it draws attention from the need for more basic science with respect to neurology and the immune system. We understand only a tiny tiny fraction of what goes on as the nervous system and the immune system evolve. And both systems are still evolving after the baby is born. For all we know messing with immunity could be a bit like alcohol during pregnancy. You give a vaccine at a critical point in development and suddenly you throw the whole system off. But other times the vaccine does what it is supposed to. Even more essential to this line of thinking is that the more we learn about these complex systems in the body the more we learn they are related. So anything that impacts the immune system could potentially impact the neurological systems within the body. By the same token we also know that certain viruses and bacterial infections have the potential to seriously harm neurological systems and cause permanent damage. Lyme, Strep and even Chicken Pox are diseases that can be connected to lifelong and permanent neurological difficulties. What breaks my heart, as a parent of a child with a neurological disability, is that basic science is not being funded or done because money and time is being spent doing research to calm emotions of panicked parents over this vaccine debate. When really what we want to see is more research and understanding into the basic processes (both genetic and environmental) so we can figure out how to better address our kids needs and issues.Until we as parents insist on basic funding for basic science we are going to continue in this circle of blame and confusion that has developed around vaccines.
Good, balanced article. I enjoyed it.
I really enjoyed the article. I just wanted to chime in along with MPH mom. I can't believe that parents will decline to vaccinate or defer vaccinations for their children citing the risk of autism or asthma while feeding them foods with artificial ingredients, food colorings, etc. Or bathing them with soaps that contain harsh chemicals. Or driving them around in a carseat that is too small. Or placing them in front of computers designed for infants or the TV at a very small age. I just heard that GMO soy (the main ingredient in soy based formula) is being linked to autism. All these things are unnatural or bear risks, but much harder to reject than vaccines.
To the most recent Anonymous:I don't feed my child food with artificial ingredients, flavorings or dyes in it. My son bathes with pure olive oil soap, and nothing with fragrance added touches his skin. His carseat is the correct size for him, he just recently discovered TV (he's almost 3), we eat organic foods and no genetically modified soy. Oh, and he has been breastfed since birth.Is it more believable, then, that my husband and I chose to not vaccinate our son, since we've made other "healthy" choices? Or is it more acceptable in light of the fact that autism runs in both my and my husband's families?Most of the "anti-vax" parents that I know live extremely healthy lifestyles and are very educated on many issues surrounding their children's health. They are certainly not the parents driving through McDonald's and plunking their infants in front of the TV.Sari,I'm surprised at your final vaccination decision, mainly because of the aluminum information that you presented in your article. If the aluminum injected into a child's bloodstream is more dangerous the smaller the child is, wouldn't that reasoning lead you to delay vaccinations until your baby was bigger?I did enjoy your article very much, as I do most vaccination-related articles. Just out of curiosity, did the outcome of the court case you mentioned in the article affect your opinion on vaccinations at all?
You know, I wasn't aware of the aluminum issue at the time my son was an infant and receiving his infant shots. If I'd known about it then, I would have followed Dr. Sears' schedule for minimum aluminum exposure, and we might have chosen to delay some of the shots even more than we already have. Even so, my conclusion that he would be fully vaccinated but on a more sane schedule would probably have been the same -- but I would have also focused on reducing aluminum exposure. The court case outcome that has been in the news in recent weeks (Hannah Poling's case) hasn't changed my view of vaccination. I think what this case demonstrates is that vaccination should not be a one-size-fits-all approach, and that further research is needed to determine whether vaccines (with or without thimerosal) help trigger autistic symptoms in children who are genetically predisposed to autism spectrum disorder. Those have been my beliefs all along.Incidentally, the case to which I referred in my article was actually the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, which is being heard in the federal vaccine court over a span of several years and is testing three different theories of causation of vaccines and autism: that thimerosal causes autism; that thimerosal and the MMR together can cause autism; and that the MMR causes autism. Each theory of causation will include evidence from three test cases. No findings have been issued in that proceeding as of yet -- in fact, they have only just wrapped up hearings on the first of the three theories. But it'll be interesting to hear the conclusions of this proceeding, and I'm glad these cases are sparking more media coverage of the vaccine safety debate.
I thought the article was great. It's hard and everyone has there stances, however I think we are all trying to be informed. MPH mom, not to be confrontational, but I don't see the relevance in your statistics. One is an accidetal death toll, compared to the risks, pros and cons of vaccinations. Vaccination are a "risk" we have potential to have control over by being informed....that is far from an accident.
This article is a breath of fresh air. So much of the coverage about parents who choose not too vaccinate makes them out to be reckless, willfully ignorant, even unloving. This article goes a long way to fill in one huge gap in the discussion of this issue: why it's confusing, complicated, and so completely fraught for parents. I went through a very similar journey in my understanding of the relevant research, and ultimately came to a very similar confusion. I do, however, have friends who don't vaccinate, and I'm sick to death of people like them being demonized simply because good information geared toward parents can be so hard to find, and because, in the absence of this information, many parents will feel far more confident opting out. This tells me not that such parents are stupid, but that the CDC and other agencies haven't done enough to make sure that their goals and their methods are well-understood and accepted by the public. If they're so 100% certain that the schedule is safe, then they should, without a doubt, be able to get these parents on board. There's a reason it's called a public health campaign, after all.
PCJ, your comment is also a breath of fresh air! I'm so sick of hearing people demonize each other for making the opposite vaccination choice, and I'm tired of hearing the nasty disrespectful tone that some people use towards other parents who are just doing what they think is best with the (limited) info they have. Your post makes me say, "Damn, now there's someone I'd love to be friends with. What a thoughtful, balanced, nice person." Thanks for bringing your grounded self to this conversation.
I haven't yet decided if this article was balanced or not, nor have I decided my reaction to it, but I have a few comments. I appreciate Sari's online explanation of her academic background--some mention of her credentials as a scientists beyond working in a toxicology consulting firm was certainly necessary given how her identity as a scientist was so heavily promoted on the cover and in the contents.I appreciate the need to limit article size, but I must take issues with the comment that "chickenpox was a normal, if uncomfortable, childhood rite of passage." Prior to the varicella vaccine, upwards of 10,000 people (mostly previously healthy) were hospitalized each year with complications of chicken pox, and 100-150 people died (40% in children under the age of ten) each year. While less immediate than medical complications/death, lost school days and work hours (for those who are not stay at home parents) due to varicella are also significant. This information, which is readily available, was lacking. Perhaps the word count would have balanced out had the references to scientist-mother been reduced in order to include this information.Regardless, I appreciate Sari's willingness and bravery to put it all out there regarding such a polarizing issue.
This was a nicely done, balanced article. I respect your dsecision and the thought you put into it. Since I have a child with autism already, I feel the risks in our genetic makeup are higher than the average person, and I will be very careful about vaccinating next time. I will not do certain vaccines at all and the rest will be spaced out and apart from each other.The vaccine schedule is too hefty given the limited info on the viruses themselves and the adjuvants used to stimulate the immune system.And lastly, your religion changes when you see your child decay after a standard vax schedule. Loss of eye contact, loss of words, loss of interest in you. It's not a lie for me to use the religious exemption...it's the damn truth. Before I owe society herd immunity, I owe my child a protected immune system and brain.Outside of the article's scope is the plethora of evidence showing abnormal immune function in autism, particularly in the brain. Until this is sorted out, which will be years, parents are right to be scared, and parents with autistic children are well within their right and responsibility to use an altered vax schedule, or not at all.Great article overall.
"I will not do certain vaccines at all and the rest will be spaced out and apart from each other."Would you please tell me which ones you chose to exlude, and firstname.lastname@example.org"And lastly, your religion changes when you see your child decay after a standard vax schedule. Loss of eye contact, loss of words, loss of interest in you. It's not a lie for me to use the religious exemption...it's the damn truth. Before I owe society herd immunity, I owe my child a protected immune system and brain."Wow! Your words chilled me with your experience.
In response to PCJ-- regardless of my opinion on this topic, as a physician, a mother, and a public health professional, it's important to remember that "public health campaigns" aren't blessed with the financial resources as private-sector campaigns. Our public health workforce in this country is scarily underfunded. I think it's important to applaud their efforts, and the amazing work that they do every day with such limited funding, resources, and support. Perhaps their "campaigns" and public information efforts would be even better if they were given the support--financial and otherwise--that they deserve.
I enjoyed the article, and I'm interested in the comments. We are a non-vax family, and I am confident in our decision, which was made after a good deal of research and thought. I've learned to keep our non-vax status to ourselves, however, or risk being seen as a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad parent. There seems to be a mob-mentality brewing when it comes to non-vaxers, or maybe I'm just a paranoid...but did anyone read the the letters to the editor in last Sunday's NYT? Yikes...one person declared that people who choose not to vaccinate their children should be sued if other people near them contract a "vaccine preventable" disease. That's wrong on so many levels. Attitudes like these scare me more than most of the diseases that vaccinations address. It's really a matter of CHOICE for me. People should weigh the pros and cons and be free to make the choice that they feel is best for their family. If I were to advocate for anything, it would be for people to do what they can to learn as much about the issue as possible, and not simply vaccinate (or not vaccinate) on a whim.
I really did not feel that this was a balanced article. The fact that vaccines have saved innumerable lives was given such short shrift. I also was not satisfied by the author's statement of her credentials. I still don't know what kind of scientist she is. To me, the vaccine 'debate' seems as if it appeals to a certain instinctual distrust of the government and any large organization that some otherwise thoughtful people are drawn to. Unfortunately, the losers are children, who are unable to protect themselves. I think phrases like 'herd immunity' perhaps allow us to distance ourselves from the outcomes of our choices. When people in developing nations refuse vaccinations for their children, often because of the same kinds of fears voiced by anti-vax people here, children die. These same kinds of needless deaths can happen here, it just may take longer. I do feel my children are my first priority but only a little ahead of all children. I don't understand where the concept of the common good has gone in this debate.Middle class children in the U.S. are probably safer than they have ever been. Why then can't we put all of energy we expend on protecting children who are already protected into helping poor children who aren't? Who don't have access to healthcare, safe places to live, good education, etc.?
One thing I have learned around my decision not to vaccinate our children is that parents who do vaccinate seem to accept on faith the logic behind vaccines and the assurances of doctors that vaccinations are essential and important. Which were my assumptions when I first began learning about vaccines several years ago. I know a lot of women who say, "We believe in vaccination," which is a final statement -- and it's certainly become a debate I want to stay out of, even with and especially with my closest friends, but it saddens me that it is accepted without questions that all of the ingredients in all of the vaccines children receive on the CDC schedule are innocuous and helpful in the final balance, especially when considered in the aggregate. Vaccinate or don't vaccinate, but moms -- and dads, who can be very savvy investigators -- please! Do the reading....make an informed decision about these injections.Someone pointed out how hypocritical it is to not vaccinate and then to feed one's children processed food and crap in general -- the non-vax families I know do tend to be more health-conscious. But, let me use that suggestion of hypocrisy to point out another one -- women who breast-feed to "boost immunity" while at the same time following the CDC schedule for immune-system-destroying shots. There is not a lot of logic there, either....
It does make one wonder all this science.I had lots of vaccinations as a child with no ill effects. At least that I am aware of!Maybe there isn't an answer and will never be oneGraffiti
This article has helped me a lot. Thanks! I recently blogged about an issue I had with Parents mag and someone told me about this magazine. I'll definitely be buying it ASAP. Never have I read a vaccine article that gave me so much credit for having a mind of my own.We are:1) Switching docs2) Buying Dr. Sears' book3) Reviewing the list of vaccines and deciding which ones Suzi needs right away4) Staggering the shots
I also enjoyed the article very much. I have done an incredible amount of research and reading about the vaccine issues since I found out I was pregnant with my son nearly 3 years ago. He has never received any vaccinations and I am not planning to vaccinate him in the future, but this was a hard decision for me to make. Like some other moms who have commented on this article, I have had awful comments directed towards me, or others who don't vaccinate, and I wonder how much, if any, research these parents have done on the topic. I have a 12-year-old sister, 19 years younger than me, who has autism. Her development was normal until she received a routine MMR vaccine around 2.Anonymous....."And lastly, your religion changes when you see your child decay after a standard vax schedule. Loss of eye contact, loss of words, loss of interest in you. It's not a lie for me to use the religious exemption...it's the damn truth. Before I owe society herd immunity, I owe my child a protected immune system and brain. "I couldn't have said this better myself. My sister stopped talking, stopped making eye-contact, withdrew and has never been the same. Was it the vaccines? Who knows. But I've heard too many stories like this to not question what I agree to have injected in my own child's body. I very much appreciate what a complicated issue this is and that there is no "right" decision for everyone.I
5:28pm Anonymous, thank you for your comment. In a world where it's so easy to slam everyone else who has a different opinion, and where it's so easy to blame one cause or another for something like autism, and where it's so common for people to be SO certain about their opinions, I found your post really refreshing. I hear you saying that you did a huge amount of research. I hear you sharing your personal experience of your sister, and how she was typically developing until age 2, and then began exhibiting signs of autism. And yet I also hear you saying that who knows, really, what the causes are, and that there is no one right decision for everyone. You rock. I love your clarity of your choice, and the humility of knowing that your choice was right for you, but not Right, Period. For Everyone. As a mom who did vaccinate with exceptions, I really appreciate your tone and your approach. I completely respect and understand and agree with your choice that you made, even though I made a different choice. If I had had your experiences, I think I would have made the same decision that you did. And that's not to discount the extensive research you did, too. (I'm not suggesting that the only reason you chose non-vax was your sister, is what I'm saying). I do think that our personal experiences drive our desire to find out more, and also create a gut-level predisposition towards a choice. Then the research can help confirm or dissuade that. I'm conflicted enough as it is, but ultimately chose to mostly-vax. I'm heaving a huge sigh of relief that (so far) my kids are okay. Knock wood. So, the last thing I want to read is some screaming mimi blasting moms who vax for being ignorant, heartless, or ill-advised. (And both sides do blast each other, at least the extremists do.) I would never blast a non-vax mom (or dad, sorry there dads) for making her deeply personal and difficult choice. We're all doing our best. Let's support each other and celebrate the great job that we're all doing to raise happy healthy little people the very best we know how. It's such a breath of fresh air to be in community with people making different choices, but without everyone necessarily having to get all defensive, offensive, self-righteous, finger-pointing, or looney about stuff like this. Maybe there is hope for this crazy #$%&ed-up world of ours if we can have a vaccinations thread in a blog like this one that actually manages to _E_volve, rather than _DE_volve, into a hopeful and productive discussion, rather than a rant-fest. Hallelujah. (P.S. I feel this same way about formula-feeding and breastfeeding, even though I'm a mama whose kids were exclusively breastfed til 6 mos, and nursed til 18 mos/almost 2. I also feel this way about TV watching, in moderation, even though we don't watch any TV in this house. I feel this way about diet, too, even though I'm a vegetarian and my kids are too. I'm not going to judge anyone at ALL for some TV watching, for eating meat, for formula feeding, etc. I am doing my thing. I accept and affirm everyone else for doing their thing. Child abuse, no. Murdering puppies for fun, no. Et cetera. But I'm not one of those lunatic fringe people who thinks that vaccinating, or not vaccinating, is like puppy murder. Nor is f-feeding, tv-watching, etc. I think I'm actually in the majority on this Live and Let Live approach, but it's just that the vocal fringe elements get a lot more press. I hope that the cheerful, tolerant/affirming, don't-sweat-it , vast majority in the middle will get more and more attention so we can stop having these made-up Mommy Wars and start tackling real problems, like world hunger, the climate crisis, and racism. Putting down my megaphone now. : )
This article is very timely for me. I have been watching my son's development or rather the slowing of it around the time he got his last round of shots and I have elected to not get the last round. I talked to his doctor about it because I believe they have a lot to do with my son's development of allergies to everything under sun. He was perfectly healthy and fine until he had his 3 month check up and then all hell broke loose. He developed allergies to egg, peanut and milk NO ONE in my family is allergic to ANY of those things. I am leery and refused them and unlike the author I have no qualms about lying on his school forms by saying it is religious reasons - I don't think God would want me to put my child in harm's way to "save the herd" as far as I am concerned "the herd" better wise up.
As usual, Brain, Child has published an excellent article about a controversial subject. Thank you!The comments and article helped me realize why I have chosen to slow down and then stop vaccinating my 4 boys (I vaccinated on schedule until the oldest was 2 1/2).Doctors also told me to give them vitamin D, but when I looked, I couldn't find a vitamin D for babies without lots of crap in it...I think, deep down, I feel the same way about vaccines: give me an "organic" vaccine, made by a company I trust, with full disclosure about all ingredients, and then, maybe then, I'll reconsider.I deeply, deeply respect others' choices, though. Just as I have many friends who disagree with my food choices, I also have friends who vaccinate and friends who do not.This article and these comments reaffirmed to me, most of all, what an excellent magazine Brain, Child is.Thanks!
I have not had time to read all the comments here since I have three young children bouncing off the walls at the moment. I must say, though, that I was very impressed with the article. It is very nice to read something so non-biased and to see the amount of time and thought you put into this decision for your child.I wish that I had taken as much time up-front to research this issue as I should have. Instead, I delayed the shots for my first son, but still gave him three rounds before we finally realized that the mounting health problems he was experiencing (awful, uncontrollable seizures and autism) were probably related in some way to the vaccines. Since that realization, we quit vaccinating him and we have not vaccinated our other two kids. "Once burned, twice shy."I know that there are some people out there who will be horrified by what I have just said, but I have to take the health of my individual children into account before I can worry about herd immunity. I am not against vaccines in general; I am, however, not going to give them to my children because the damage is done to one child and the risks are too high for the others.Thank you, Sari, for a fair and balanced treatment of this topic.
Oh, and my two oldest kids had the chicken pox when they were 2 1/2 years and 3 months old respectively, and we had no lasting side effects from it. They were itchy for a week or two, but both were fine. I did not still do not see the point of that particular vaccine since so often it is just a basic childhood illness.
Most mothers today have no experience with or understanding of the diseases these vaccines prevent. However, we all now have experience with or understanding of the tragedy that is autism. Watching your child disappear before your eyes is tragic. I think it is perfectly reasonable for parents to desperately want to protect their children from the real, visible, and heart-breaking epidemic of autism. People sometimes ask me if I think that vaccines caused my son's autism. I just answer that I really don't know. I do desperately hope and pray that we are not injuring our children with those shots. Until we know for sure, I can't blame any parent for keeping their children safe from them.
How appropriate that I would find the info I was looking for in an issue of Brain Child. I was a subscriber from the first issue up until a couple of years ago and have given the magazine as gifts many times. I chose the non-vax route for our son, now nine. Although I have signed the exemption form at his private school each year, the school has begun to question whether we intend to "catch him up" on his immunizations. Our son's older sister suffered with the older DTP vaccination when she was an infant and that lead to the decision to cease vaccinating our children. I was researching the best catch up strategy when I found Sari's article. The info has been very helpful so thanks again to Brain, Child. You continue to excel!
What a disappointing article. (Will the author allow me to say this, or will my post be deleted?) For one, the author misleading states, "Parents currently facing the vaccination question can rest a little easier because thimerosal has been removed from all pediatric vaccines in the United States." Oh really?Problem is, she neglects to mention - perhaps becuase her reserach was topical at best - that no vaccine has EVER been removed from stockpiles in U.S. history. Never. Even the ones that killed thousands according to the VAERS database (look it up yourself - it's on the internet and it's public data). FACT:There are actually millions of thimerisol-laden vaccines (not just the flu, but the traditional childhood vax) that are being injected into healthy children every day. Yes, mercury. Today. To unsuspecting, uninformed parents. The fat is, the pharmaceuticals chose to remove thimerisol from NEW batches only. Turns out mercury wasn't helping business when it came to the media. Now, the fact that they CHOSE to remove them only serves to underscore the fact that the FDA, CDC and NIH were not going to dare require they do so. Why? Because over 50% of folks at the CDC have personal financial stakes in pharmacetical profits. Hard to believe it's legal, but this is fact. (Read The Sanctity of Human Blood, Tim O'Shea. Now there's someone who's done his homework.)In short, if you really believe injecting any amount of poison (just reserach the ingredients - 100% "toxic" and "poison" is printed on the labels) into your child is the way to go, then please continue your research. And I'm sorry, but don't count on Brain, Child to provide a thorough or honest review for you. In my opinion, Sari just proved the magazine is as lazy and mainstream as any other.
I enjoy Brainchild, but your article on vaccination that posed as an objective investigation ended with the same brainless conclusion, based on the same senseless arguments that the pharmaceutical companies and many doctors are shoving down parents' throats. The main senseless argument is that one about "the good of the herd". And here's the question: if the herd is vaccinated, what do they care if my child is not, how does my unvaccinated child hurt the supposedly protected herd? And this is what people tell mothers who don't vaccinate, that we are putting their vaccinated children at risk. It makes no sense.Also, the varicella zoster vaccine (the virus that's called Chicken Pox in kids and Shingles in adults) is proving to be a public health debacle with incidence of Shingles raising because all of our "natural" immunity is being weakened by lack of exposure to kids with natural Chicken Pox. Of course the billions of dollars Merck made from the Chicken Pox vaccine is going to be mulitplied when we all soon need a Shingles vaccine. http://www.vran.org/vaccines/cpox/shingles-threat.htmAlso, how can anyone trust a government system that refuses to research a certain topic, ie, the Autism-Vaccination link because it is afraid of what it will find? The former National Institute of Health Director recently came out and said as much in the article below:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtmlOkay, Brainchild, how about if I write an article on why I chose not vaccinate my second child. I did my first until I got wise.
p.s. Just last year, a group of mothers led by a woman named Julianne King lobbied the government of Hawaii to require the removal of mercury from the childhood vaccines and vaccines, and their efforts failed. Check it out. Google Julianne King Thimerisol Hawaii.I think it was CDC or the American Society of Pediatrics or was it the Pharmaceutical Industry that put pressure on the politicians to not pass the bill that would require the medical industry to remove it.
cathrinwitt, I'd like to respond to your comment about the "good of the herd". My understanding is that vaccinations are not 100% effective. If 100 children receive a vaccination, a few of those kids will still be vulnerable to the disease. However, the productively vaccinated children will work to isolate cases of the disease, making it less likely that children will become ill. You might want to read about the rise in Boulder, Colorado, of whooping cough to endemic levels. Enough children did not receive the vaccination, that the disease was able to spread thoroughly enough to also infect those children who had been vaccinated but remained vulnerable.I really do understand people's qualms about the additives in vaccines and their side effects, and I hope we will all continue to lobby tirelessly for safer vaccines, just as we do for safer, less contaminated food, water, and air. But my mother has told me enough stories about the polio epidemics of her childhood to make me more concerned about my son contracting the disease than the possible effect of the vaccine. Sorry this is so long!
You said, "the productively vaccinated children will work to isolate cases of the disease". What does this mean?As to reading about the spread of whooping cough you speak of, it seems obvious to me that vaccines don't work for all diseases. That they worked for polio in the 50's does not mean all vaccines are good. I will vaccinate my kids for polio then and that's it.You might want to read about the thousands of kids who get injured from vaccines in verified cases. These are verified cases of disease and death resulting from vaccines that noone thinks about until it is too late. The pharm companies have set up a fund administered through the government and it pays injured families millions per year to hush essentially pay them back for their family's vaccine injury or death. And then there are the unknown long term side effects of the chemical preservatives and viruses pumped into children's unsuspecting cells and bloodstreams in the past 10 years as the vaccine schedule has increased to 10x more vaccines than kids 20 years ago got, and 100% more than people got 80 years ago. Do you think the mysterious epidemics of Alheimers and MS might be related? And then there are the millions of kids whose parents are sure they were injured by vaccines in the past 15 years as autism is also raised to empidemic proportions, from 1 in 1000 kids 20 years ago to 1 in 160 today.You might also want to read about the epidemic spread of shingles to which I linked an article in my earlier message which has happened as a direct result of vaccinating children for chicken pox.
Hi Laura in laAs to reading about the spread of whooping cough you speak of, it seems obvious to me that vaccines don't work for all diseases. That they worked for polio in the 50's does not mean all vaccines work. I will vaccinate my kids for polio then and that's it.You might want to read about the thousands of kids who get injured from vaccines in verified cases. These families have "proven" that a vaccine caused disease, permanent damage or death and they are paid settlements in the millions of dollars every year in the U.S. for vaccine injury and death and the average person has no idea about this sad reality of vaccines.And then there are the mysterious epidemics of Alheimers and MS in recent years and with no long term data on the dramatically increasing amounts of chemical preservatives and viruses that are being delivered directly into people's bloodstreams and no long term data on vaccines, well, as you know, various studies have pointed to the modern onslaught of vaccines as a possible cause.And then there are the millions of kids whose parents are sure they were injured by vaccines in the past 20 years especially, but they can't "prove" it. Autism rates have skyrocketed and many people don't want to implicate vaccines because they are so profitable to the pharm and medical industries. We are talking billions in profit per year.See my other link for what the former director of the National Institue of Health has to say about it. In summary, she says that more independent study of the vaccine-autism link is required, but people are afraid to do these studies because they will be shut down by the powers that make money from the pharmeceutical industry and medical industry.You might also want to read about the epidemic spread of shingles that I reference in my earlier post which has happened as a direct result of vaccinating people for chicken pox.
I'm so sorry for all the posts. I didn't know I was posting so many times. I thought the earlier ones didn't go through because I was busy recovering my password as I edited them, but apparently you can post without a password. Ooops.If you're reading my messages, you might want to just read the last one.
Who gets to decide what vaccines should be mandatory for all children for the sake of public safety? If Assembly Bill A5468 passes, for New Yorker's the choice will be delegated to appointed officials at the CDC, not our elected officials. So who sits on the advisory committee? What is their relationship to the pharma industry? Just why I am going to be forced to vaccinate my 4 month old against Heb B? Of course.. there is the risk that with crawling comes intravenous drug use and being sexually active. Yes I se the public health risk here.
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